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First Prisoners & Last Battle

US Military History Throughout The Years

Short bits of history you know and some you may not!

  • First Prisoners: Saturday, May 9, 1942 – USCGC Icarus detects the German submarine U-352 off the coast of North Carolina. The Icarus would drop a series of depth charges as it anticipated the enemies movements and would force U-352 to surface. As the enemy sub surfaced the Icarus would open fire with its guns forcing the enemy crew to abandon their submarine, with U-352 sinking shortly afterwards from damage. With no standing orders as to what action was to be taken with survivors the USCGC Icarus awaited authorization to pick up the surviving crew of U-352. 33 crew members of the U-352 would be rescued from the waters. The U-352 was the second German submarine to be sank of the coast of the USA since the USA entered WW2, with the other sub going down with all hands lost. The surviving crew members also became the first German POWs taken by combat by the USA.
  • The Expedition Begins: Monday, May 14, 1804 – The Corps of Discovery, under Captains Lewis and Clark, departed Camp Dubois and made their way up the Missouri River to St. Charles, MS. They then embarked on their great expedition to explore the newly acquired American territory and reach the Pacific Ocean.
  • USS America: Wednesday, May 10, 1797 – The first American Navy ship built under the Naval Act of 1794 was launched. The USS United States was a wood hulled, three masted heavy frigate that was built along with five other similar frigates. She would protect American merchant ships until the Civil War when the Confederacy would capture and later scuttle her. She was raised by the Union but later broken up in 1865
  • Battle of Palmito Ranch: Friday, May 12, 1865 – Considered by some to be the last battle of the Civil War, Union and Confederate forces would clash on the banks of the Rio Grande River east of Brownsville, Texas. The battle was prompted by the Union commander who had never been in combat. After small initial success on the 12th they would be defeated on the 13th by Confederate forces using artillery to their great advantage. Union Private John J. Williams is believed to be the last man killed in this battle and thus the last Solider to die in combat in the Civil War. That this battle was the last one fought in the Civil War is disputed, as the Confederacy has ceased to exist at this point and this can be considered a post-war action as a result.

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